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Legislative memos present different economic pictures of Draper prison site

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Posted at 4:16 PM, Jul 14, 2015
and last updated 2015-07-14 18:26:18-04

SALT LAKE CITY — A pair of legislative memos released Tuesday present different viewpoints of the economic development potential for the Draper prison site.

One study, conducted for Rep. Merrill Nelson, R-Grantsville, claimed that a combination of commercial, retail, light industrial and residential development on the Draper site would only yield approximately 18,000 new jobs, wages of $834 million, economic activity/GDP of $1.2 billion, and annual local and state tax revenue of $94 million over 10-12 years.

“Their findings demonstrate that MGT’s initial economic development projections can be questioned. We must be cautious moving forward on this critical issue and be sure that moving the prison is in the best interest of the state,” Rep. Nelson, who represents one community under consideration for a potential prison site, said in a statement Tuesday.

Read Rep. Nelson’s memo here:

But another study, conducted for Rep. Brad Wilson, R-Kaysville, who co-chairs the Prison Relocation Commission, claims that developing the Draper site as a tech hub as intended would create more than 23,000 jobs, $2.4 billion in state wages, $2.7 billion in economic activity and $178 million in tax revenue. That’s after a $1.1 billion initial investment in the tech industry.

Read Rep. Wilson’s memo here:

“This report, as well as the report requested by Rep. Nelson, make it clear that with the right planning the Draper redevelopment can have an incredibly positive impact on the State of Utah without competing with existing business. The key now is to ensure that we’re doing everything we can to establish a climate for success,” Rep. Wilson said in a statement Tuesday.